Article: article from journal or magazin.
Review (review): journal as complete as possible of one specific subject, written based on exhaustive analyses from published work.
Renewal of the neurophysiology of language: functional neuroimaging.
Publication types: Journal Article ; ReviewPublication Status: ppublish
Functional neuroimaging methods have reached maturity. It is now possible to start to build the foundations of a physiology of language. The remarkable number of neuroimaging studies performed so far illustrates the potential of this approach, which complements the classical knowledge accumulated on aphasia. Here we attempt to characterize the impact of the functional neuroimaging revolution on our understanding of language. Although today considered as neuroimaging techniques, we refer less to electroencephalography and magnetoencephalography studies than to positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging studies, which deal more directly with the question of localization and functional neuroanatomy. This review is structured in three parts. 1) Because of their rapid evolution, we address technical and methodological issues to provide an overview of current procedures and sketch out future perspectives. 2) We review a set of significant results acquired in normal adults (the core of functional imaging studies) to provide an overview of language mechanisms in the "standard" brain. Single-word processing is considered in relation to input modalities (visual and auditory input), output modalities (speech and written output), and the involvement of "central" semantic processes before sentence processing and nonstandard language (illiteracy, multilingualism, and sensory deficits) are addressed. 3) We address the influence of plasticity on physiological functions in relation to its main contexts of appearance, i.e., development and brain lesions, to show how functional imaging can allow fine-grained approaches to adaptation, the fundamental property of the brain. In closing, we consider future developments for language research using functional imaging.
Aphasia/physiopathology, Aphasia/radionuclide imaging, Cerebral Cortex/physiology, Cerebral Cortex/radionuclide imaging, Cognition/physiology, Humans, Language, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Neuronal Plasticity/physiology, Positron-Emission Tomography
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